Desi St. Amant

Fullerton, California

Desi is a Latinx writer based in Southern California. As a child, she spent her free time climbing trees, chasing chickens, and exploring the lush foliage of her grandparents’ backyard while replaying scenes from her favorite movies. Today, she teaches high school English. As a member of SCBWI, she does monthly critiques with other experienced writers and shares exciting member news on their quarterly newsletter. She has had poems featured on Aaduna and Virgogrey Press. Currently, she writes middle-grade stories (fantasy and contemporary–sometimes a little of both). ​

When she isn’t writing or teaching, she is spending quality time with her family, playing board games, going on long runs, listening to podcasts, maintaining a residential beehive, and dancing traditional hula. ​Sometimes–if she’s lucky–she even gets sleep.

What do you love to do for fun?

I love hula dancing and making memes (it’s therapeutic).

What was your favorite book as a child?

I LOVED The Baby-sitter’s Club series and the Goosebumps series as a kid. Those books completely sucked me in and made me fall in love with reading.

Available for School Visits:

I love to visit schools and strive to make it as engaging as possible. Regardless of the book, I incorporate interactive components, such as honeycomb and beekeeping equipment for Three Bee Honey or a hula-dancing lesson for In the Middle of the Sea. I use multimedia (images and videos) of elements that inspired the story, have students play trivia games, and even lead writing exercises to help them find and develop their own stories.

GET IN TOUCH ABOUT DESI

Art Process:

I do a TON of brainstorming (and sometimes drafting) in a dedicated notebook for that story. Once I have an idea or concept, I create mind maps, lists, and freewrite to see what ideas come out in a short burst of time. As a parent and teacher, life is extremely busy, so every minute is precious. I have to steal time from the margins of my days (#momlife). For instance, when I garden or go on runs, I work through scenes in my head. While my kids are engaged in karate or baseball practice, I brainstorm chapters and draft dialogue. Finding a balance is a challenge, but if I am patient and steadfast, I can see some meaningful progress and growth.

One thing that is a must-have for getting into the “zone” is playing music while I write. I have to tune out all of the other background noise and let the music help me focus on the story. The selection depends on my mood or the mood of that scene in the story. If it is a happy/upbeat scene, instrumental Disney music is great. Other music I love to play in the background: LoFi HipHop Beats, any instrumental jazz (like John Coltrane), and Hawaiian music.